A new study in Australia has found a link between obesity and diabetes in white blood cells. It is hoped the discovery could explain the reason why type 2 diabetes is mostly found in overweight people.
The study, which was published in the medical journal Diabetes, revealed that immune-system cells cause inflammation in fat tissue, and could mean the development of new anti-inflammatory treatments that prevent insulin resistance and other complications that are associated with obesity.
Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne investigated fat tissue from more than 100 patients who were either lean or obese, finding evidence that white blood cells derived from bone marrow, called macrophages, in fat tissue begin a process that leads to diabetes.
Leonard Harriso, a co-author of the study, said “The complications of obesity such as insulin resistance and diabetes, cardiovascular disease associated with hardening of the arteries, and liver problems are the result of inflammation that occurs in the fat tissue. These complications could be prevented by developing drugs that target certain cytokines released by the macrophages.”
It was also found that when obese people lose weight, macrophages in their fat tissue disappeared, along with the risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes.

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